Match Preview | Aberdeen v Rangers
Competition: Scottish Premiership
Match: Aberdeen v Rangers
Kick Off: 12:30
TV Coverage: Red TV International, Virtual Season Ticket & Sky Sports
The manager spoke to the media this afternoon via a Zoom call at Cormack Park. He gave an update on the injury to Sam Cosgrove which you can read about here.
“Bruce in isolation has been doing great in pre-season. We have got a young boy there who is chapping at the bit. I walked him off the training pitch today to make sure he was fit and he will be ready to go on Saturday.
“Curtis is out for Saturday as well after he picked up a little thigh strain.
“Ash came off on Saturday early on in the game. He felt a bit of tightness in that area and just used his experience to not take any risks. Shay Logan is another one who is working his way back. He has managed to train today and hopefully both him and Ash will train fully tomorrow and be part of the squad.
“Young Miko Virtanen has been injured but he managed to train today as well.
“Dylan McGeouch has had a wee injury, but he has been back in full training for the last 10 days.
“The boy deserves a break. He is desperate to contribute. He came to us as big name from what he had done throughout his career. Him and Ojo were our biggest signings to try and give us that influence in midfield.
“We feel now he is getting a good run. We are managing his week, so he is ready for the weekend. If we can keep him fit then he can be an influence for us. He is the type of player who can encourage and install confidence in his teammates and also be demanding on the pitch.
Stadium with no fans
“The fans have got a huge part to play in any game and it is difficult for the players not to notice that. We have played a few friendly games at Pittodrie to try and get through the protocols. The players have got to have the intelligence and to have that drive.
“We know who we are playing for, we know who we represent. The season doesn’t start when fans are allowed back in, the season starts on Saturday.
“The motivation from each and every one of the players has got to be there. We want to make sure we get off to the best start possible.
“The players have been great with their training in lockdown and also since we got them back in for pre-season. Seven weeks has been a long time to prepare for a season to start with.
“We have had wage deferrals and cuts to deal with but not one player has complained, they have all got on with their work. I have got a brilliant set of lads there who are ready to play their part on Saturday and to get back to doing what we do best.
“A few weeks ago, we didn’t even know if this is possible. We are grateful for this opportunity and hoping to get off to a winning start.
“Our last couple of games against them we picked up a draw at Ibrox and a draw at Pittodrie as well. They have got a lot of good players; they have got a good squad but so have we. There will be a lot of good players on show on Saturday.
“We want all three points and to get that we have to play for the full 90 minutes. Regardless of how any of our opponents are playing heading into the game we have got to concentrate on ourselves and bring a winning performance.
“We have had a large majority of staff on furlough but the ones who haven’t have been working so hard to make sure that the club was still in focus and that we were engaging with supporters.
“The supporters have jumped on that as well be it with fundraising or AberDNA or with season tickets. There is a good connection with the supporters and the club, it has been a tough period, but we have got through it.
“With the announcement today, hopefully the supporters can get in sooner than we expected so they can come and see the team play.
“At the end of the day we are a football club and it is what we do on the football pitch that matters.
“The players, staff and supporters have all missed their football and we look forward to getting back going on Saturday.
Players Taking the Knee
“We had intended to do it. We didn’t need someone to tell us to do it, we were going to do it anyway. We are here to support the Black Lives Matter campaign and to keep it in focus.”
The Last Time
The sides last met back in February at Ibrox where The Dons earned a hard fought 0-0 draw. Joe Lewis pulled off a string of impressive saves while Sam Cosgrove passed up the best chance for the away side in the first half.
Opening Day 2018
The two sides last met on the opening day of the season in 2018 at Pittodrie. James Tavernier gave the away side the lead from the penalty spot after Alfredo Morelos had been sent off. Substitute Bruce Anderson rescued a point for The Dons late on when he scored his first senior goal in his first appearance.
Dons Line Up: Lewis, Ball, Considine, Shinnie, Devlin, McKenna (Forrester), Gleeson (May), Ferguson, Cosgrove (Anderson), McKinn, Mackay_Steven.